GreenH has been granted Pilot-E support for Bodø hydrogen hub.

GreenH has received 5.9 million NOK in support from the Pilot-E programme for the Bodø hydrogen hub. The project aims to develop hydrogen hubs where locating them close to consumption will lead to reduced costs, higher energy efficiency, and a quicker trial and roll-out of hydrogen in Norway. “We are looking forward to working together with our cooperation partners and making Bodø a hydrogen hub,” said Morten Solberg Watle, chief executive of GreenH, which is leading the project. SINTEF and Norconsult will be responsible for research and development for the project.

The support comes from Pilot-E, which is a joint financing venture run by Enova, the Research Council of Norway, and Innovation Norway.

Bodø can be Northern Norway’s hydrogen capital.

Bodø is a strategic hub in the Salten region. The diversity of industrial consumers makes the town a natural centre for production of hydrogen. Bodø has ferries and shipping companies, big land-based transport companies with regional warehouses, the most central airport in Nordland, the terminus of the Nordland railway, a new district with requirements for more effective environmental solutions, processing industry with a need for new energy solutions, and a fish-farming industry with increasing demand for oxygen, which is a by-product of hydrogen production. By gathering the needs of several hydrogen consumers in one place, synergies and business opportunities are created that are difficult to achieve elsewhere.

“It is unique in the region to have so many different consumers gathered in one place. Having several types of consumers gathered in the immediate vicinity of the production is best for the users, best for the environment, and best for the region,” said Morten Solberg Watle, chief executive of GreenH. He believes that Bodø has a historic opportunity to put itself in the centre of the hydrogen map.

By land – road transport, smart city, and district heating

By 2025-2030, it is expected that hydrogen will be competitive as a fuel for heavy transport over longer distances. It is fitting then that a number of heavy transport groups have regional warehouses in Bodø.

The moving of the airport frees up suburban areas that can be developed into a green, smart city. Here, it is planned to set up a cost-efficient green infrastructure, and then it would be unique to have hydrogen available in the vicinity.

A hydrogen plant at Langstranda in Bodø will be located just a few hundred metres from the municipality’s district heating network, meaning that the residual heat from the hydrogen production can be used. A hydrogen plant designed to transfer its excess heat to the district heating network will be beneficial in reducing total energy costs.

“The hydrogen plant will produce excess heat that can be used in district heating. This can be used directly or after upgrading to low-temperature heating requirements, for example for heating buildings,” said Stian Erichsen, Vice President Business Development at Norconsult. In addition, we are also looking at using the oxygen, which is a by-product of electrolysis.

By sea – ferries and maritime transport

Bodø has several big players in the maritime industry. Hurtigruten has a longer stop in Bodø, and we have connections throughout Vestfjord, which has its natural starting point in Bodø.

From 2025 onwards, the ferry connection over Vestfjord will run on hydrogen. This will result in scaled-up production with lower prices that will accelerate the use of hydrogen among other users in Bodø.

The technology has come so far that hydrogen is becoming an important part of the transition to zero emissions in the maritime sector. “We are involved in several projects that deal with transport along the Norwegian coast, also in Bodø,” said Watle.

By air – airport

Bodø is the most central airport in Nordland. The airport is, and will be, an important link between the main routes and the short-haul network. In the future, it is envisaged that parts of the aircraft fleet shall use hydrogen as a fuel. This also gives Bodø special opportunities with hydrogen production less than 1000 metres from the airport.

Petter Nekså from SINTEF believes that Bodø is very suitable for the piloting of infrastructure for pressurised and liquid hydrogen, and that it can become one of the first in the world for new solutions due to the advantageous interaction between the airport, other consumers, and production at Langstranda. “We believe there are many synergies connected with producing hydrogen close to the airport, both when thinking of using the gas as vapour and residual cold. [NOT SURE of right translation of “fordamper og restkulde”] There are not many airports that can boast of transport-free hydrogen production that has already been set up right next door,” he said.

Environmental benefits from local production in Bodø

Bodø as a hub would mean that the hydrogen is produced in the immediate vicinity of consumers. This would avoid unsustainable and expensive transport, which in itself would mean lower CO2 emissions.

By setting up a plant in an urban and established industrial area, there would also not be any incursion into nature.

“By eliminating the need for transport and by fully using the by-products of heat and oxygen, our solution will be unbeatable in terms of costs, environmental benefits, and energy efficiency,” said Watle.

That the need for hydrogen is so large in Bodø gives the city opportunities few other places have. With hydrogen ferries over Vestfjord, the transition to hydrogen on land transport can come earlier than many think, believes Watle. [THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE – ferries are sea transport – I’d recommend taking out the word “land”]

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